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Special Report

Grapevine: Taxpayers help ineligible public housing families

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

Helping Hand

You -- the taxpayer -- are subsidizing more than 25,000 families in public housing -- even though they exceed the income limits.

An Inspector General's report estimates that $104 million will be spent over the next year on ineligible households -- while hundreds of thousands of low-income families-- are stuck on the waiting list.

Some of the disturbing examples--

A New York family with annual income of nearly a half-million dollars -- lives in public housing -- and has been over the limit for five years.

In the Big Apple alone -- more than 300,000 families are on the waiting list.

In Nebraska -- a tenant has assets worth $1.6 million -- and lives in a subsidized apartment -- paying only $300 a month.

The government only requires tenants to be under the income limit during the application process.

There is no requirement to remove over-income families -- a loophole the IG-- wants the government to close.

Lost in the Mail

Another stunning Inspector General’s report -- this one for the VA.

A surprise inspection found the Los Angeles office was shredding mail from vets--  that could affect their benefits.

The unannounced inspection came after an anonymous tip.

Nine claims-related documents were in the bin destined for shredding -- including two from homeless veterans submitting disability compensation claims. 

The LA office could not provide any documentation -- on what had been destroyed in recent years.

The IG has expanded the investigation to other offices -- to determine if the mis-handling of mail is an isolated or systemic issue.

Be Careful What You Wish For

Finally -- Uncle Sam wants you -- the public -- to tell it -- how you really feel.

The government is soliciting your feedback -- on the web and mobile service Yelp.

Agencies are encouraged to launch new pages -- or claim existing ones the Yelp community has already created -- quote --

"This allows agencies to go in and engage -- and dedicate customer service staff to monitoring the feedback."

The government is not paying Yelp to host the agencies sites -- and advertisements will be banned -- to prevent perceived endorsements.